Battlefield V has a Fortnite-style building tool, ditches the season pass and is out this October
After months of speculation and a few weeks of teases, EA has confirmed this year’s Battlefield is set in World War 2, with DICE returning to the theatre of war in which the series was first born.
Battlefield V also sees the return of co-op to the series, with a dedicated mode for four players set in various scenarios that’s being pitched as a bridge between single-player and multiplayer for newer players. Combined Arms, as the mode is called, sees small squads pitched against various objectives in a spin on Battlefield’s chaotic sandbox where players work together to earn rewards. It’s that mode that forms the basis for the astonishing reveal trailer – all recorded in-engine, so DICE says – that gives a quickfire cinematic run-through of the various new features for Battlefield V.
The new mode also speaks to a bigger emphasis on team play that will define the multiplayer, with players now spawning into squads by default (though it will still be possible to opt into playing alone if you so desire). Ammo is now said to be scarcer, while it’s impossible to heal yourself to 100 per cent without the aid of a medic, meaning you’ll be more dependent on your squad mates to help you in battle.
Tying into that is an all-new building mechanic that’s reminiscent of Fortnite, with all player classes having access to a building tool that’ll allow them to fortify areas and erect makeshift walls of sandbags in downed buildings. A flip side of this is heightened destruction, with a return to the kind of chaos that the much-loved Bad Company 2 was known for. As to whether this all ties into the expected battle royale mode, as made famous by PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite, that remains unclear – DICE revealed no plans for it at launch, though it did mention new game modes coming as part of Battlefield V’s ongoing live service.
Battlefield V will also see the return of War Stories, a single-player campaign that focuses in on small self-contained vignettes from across the theatre of war. Quite what these will be remains unknown – although the shortest of teasers gives us a glimpse of a chapter detailing the struggles of a young Norwegian – but DICE said it was looking once more to highlight the “unseen, untold and unplayed” aspects of the war.
Finally, Battlefield V will also ditch the premium pass that’s been a staple of the series in recent years – and one that’s split the player base between the haves and have-nots as numbers on certain maps dwindled throughout the lifespan of a game. It’s not DICE’s first big game to ditch a season pass, of course, though it seems to have learnt from the drama around last year’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 by ensuring the inevitable micro-transactions only apply to cosmetics rather than to items that impact gameplay – and towards that end there’s plenty more options promised in Battlefield V, with your ‘Company’ of class members fully customisable and the ability to choose gender for the first time in the series, amongst other variables. All this ties into Battlefield V’s ongoing live service, dubbed Tides of War, which will focus in on various chapters in the war, offering time limited challenges and rewards as new maps and modes are folded in post-release.
And the release date itself? It’s 19th October (or 11th October if you’re playing on EA Access via Play First, with the deluxe edition coming on October 16th), an eye-opening decision given its proximity to Red Dead Redemption 2, which launches just a week later. EA and DICE must be fairly confident in what it’s got to go toe-to-toe with Rockstar’s latest, but going from what we’ve seen of Battlefield V so far they have every reason to be.